Trailblazing Funding For The North Yorkshire Moors

A really great article below has been published on the North York Moors National Park website, the highlight for us is the investment that David Ross (owner of Rosedale & Westerdale Moor) has invested through the David Ross foundation.  The total budget for the project is now upto £3.5m.

“The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) has awarded a £2.8m grant to protect and raise awareness of one of the unique landscapes of the North York Moors National Park.

Thanks to the support of National Lottery players, the project will help understand and enhance the landscape and its legacy of 19th century ironstone exploitation, preserving it for future generations and making connections to Teesside, the industrial area that it created.  Geoff Taylor vice-chair of the TEL Executive Group commented: ”The success of our bid brings to fruition a truly cooperative endeavour by groups across and around the North York Moors. We are now enabled to preserve the extraordinary efforts of pioneering Victorian railwaymen, ironstone miners and steelmakers for future generations and that is a source of great pride. Local history groups play an increasingly important part in the life of our communities and they will take heart from this.”

The dramatic and distinctive landscape at the centre of the project, entitled ‘This Exploited Land’ (TEL), tells a story about the importance of the pioneering ironstone and railway heritage of an area from Grosmont, through Eskdale to Kildale and then on through Rosedale to Rosedale Abbey, which is being eroded over time. It will also encourage rare wildlife, ancient woodlands, wild daffodils and the special species of the River Esk.

The project is a culmination of hard work and vision from local communities, the Authority, volunteers and ‘This Exploited Land’ Partnership and its Executive Group, and is something that communities in the National Park have wanted to do for a long time. With match funding from the North York Moors National Park Authority, the David Ross Foundation and other partners it takes the total budget for this project to £3.5m. David added: “The David Ross Foundation is delighted to be supporting this exciting project, preserving the landscape for future generations and helping to establish an education centre in the North York Moors National Park. Giving children the opportunity to enjoy the benefits of this beautiful landscape and partake in outdoor adventures will help them discover their strengths, build confidence and make sense of their surroundings.”

Andy Wilson, CEO at the North York Moors National Park Authority said: “The Heritage Lottery Funding will help ensure the story of the landscape will be a source of inspiration and pride for years to come. This is wonderful news for the National Park and we’re very excited about starting the projects and working with the TEL executive and local community to deliver on our vision.”

The grant will ensure the conservation and interpretation of features relating to the 19th century industrial expansion along the remote valleys of the North York Moors. The project has three interlinked components; archaeology and built heritage, the natural environment and interpretation, education and engagement.

There will be 46 individual projects being carried out from 2016-2021 across the landscape area – ranging from the conservation of the iconic structures, such as ironstone kilns in Rosedale and mines in Kildale, reconnecting habitats and restoring ancient woodlands, removal of fish barriers along the River Esk, to working with schools to encourage children to connect with and learn more about the landscape.

Doctor Louise Cooke, Heritage Officer TEL at the North York Moors National Park Authority said: “The scheme is really diverse, with lots of opportunities for people to get involved. It’s really exciting after years of intense project planning to see our long- term aspirations being turned into reality and getting the go ahead for our projects to begin.”

The TEL project area covers a sweeping arc from Goathland to Grosmont, then westwards along the Esk Valley to Kildale, finally crossing the moors south eastwards to reach Rosedale. A patchwork of habitats occurs across the area, from ancient semi-natural woodland and upland hay meadows to riverbank habitats along the River Esk and its adjoining streams.

Ring ouzels, mountain blackbirds, are an example of how the former industrial heritage has shaped the landscape for wildlife today. These birds are associated with the belt of land on the moorland edge around the disused railway and kilns in Rosedale. This species is a national conservation priority so by preserving this historic landscape and bolstering the habitat by providing more berry-bearing shrubs, the ring ouzel population will increase, helping to halt national long-term declines.

Louise added: “The still relatively remote landscape conceals a largely untold story of communities shaped by a century of intense industrial activity, a story of enterprise and innovation, of hard physical work at a scale hard to imagine, all in an area of outstanding landscape value, now protected by its designation as a National Park.”



Media contact

Tel: 01439 772700

Alison Harris, Media and Communications Officer, North York Moors National Park

The North York Moors National Park

The North York Moors is a beautiful landscape of stunning moorland, spectacular coast, ancient woodland and historic sites. It was created on 28 November 1952 and became Britain’s sixth national park.

The North York Moors National Park Authority works with a huge variety of people to care for this beautiful corner of Yorkshire. Nearly 14% of its staff are apprentices from local families.

To view other press releases and for further information about the North York Moors National Park,

The UK’s 15 national parks are hugely popular with the public – in a poll undertaken by the UK Association of National Park Authorities in February 2013, 93 per cent of people felt national parks were areas of national importance. Public spending on national parks in England is less than £1 per person per year. More information on the UK’s national parks can be found at


Notes to editors:


  • The linear project area mirrors the rise and decline of the railways and the extractive industries. The coming together of people, technology, landscape and evocative remains is uncommon in the North of England.
  • At its peak in the mid 1870s-mid 1880s the ironstone industries in the area (alongside the remainder of the Cleveland Hills) provided 38% of Britain’s need for iron which equated to 20% of world demand.
  • Local technological developments in blast furnaces (such as the Cleveland Practice used at Grosmont ironworks) were for a time the most advanced in the world.
  • The impact of industrialisation on the landscape was in the creation of mines, the calcining kilns, construction of ironworks, the creation of mineral tramways and railways and the construction of accommodation for the increased population of the area.
  • The area contributed to the shifting industries in North East England and the establishment of Middlesbrough as a centre of iron-making and it impact on the nation and indeed the world. In 1851 38 Blast Furnaces were operating in the North East and 13 were supplied with ironstone from the project area, by 1863 108 Blast Furnaces with 78 supplied with ironstone from the project area.
  • 1835 Ironstone was first identified and the first underground ironstone mining commenced – representing the first such mining in the Cleveland Hills ironstone mining district. Following on from this first discovery Ironstone was identified and worked along the Murk Esk Valley at Beck Hole  and Esk Valley, then at Kildale and later magnetic ironstone was discovered in Rosedale.
  • The industry waxed and waned through the later half of the 19th century and into the 20th century, with the official closure of the North Eastern Railway Rosedale Branch in 1929. This followed the final closure of the Rosedale East mines in 1926.
  • Technological innovations in the design and workings of blast furnaces were pioneered in the area  with many of the great ‘Ironmasters’ including Lothian Bell, Hugh Bell, Henry Bolckow and Charles and Thomas Bagnell.


About the Heritage Lottery Fund

Thanks to National Lottery players, we invest money to help people across the UK explore, enjoy and protect the heritage they care about – from the archaeology under our feet to the historic parks and buildings we love, from precious memories and collections to rare wildlife. @heritagelottery @HLFYandH”